This Owl Country duet album comes alive through the talents of many amazing local musicians.
Our solid rhythm section was made up of bassist Chris Amberger and drummer PC Muñoz. Petaluma resident and seasoned jazz musician, Amberger has performed and toured with Art Blakey, Steely Dan, and Richie Havens among many others. PC Muñoz from San Francisco began his career as a hip-hop and R & B drummer, but has been involved in a hugely diverse range of music including recording/performing with Jackson Browne.
Chris and PC were the first two other musicians involved in the project, and helped us flesh out songs like “Atonement,” “I Wanna Know You,” and “Sacred Ground.” The Felta School proved too acoustically challenging to record drums, so we spent Yvette’s birthday recording in a recording studio in Sebastopol.
The Felta School, where we recorded all of the other elements on the album, saw many of Sonoma County’s best instrumentalists the first week of August 2014. Dave Zirbel, a pedal steel player from Sebastopol, stopped by to add his wizardry to “Atonement,” “I Wanna Know You,” and our Christmas single “Long Gentle Rain.”
Alison Harris is a wonderful singer-songwriter also from Sebastopol. She has recorded wonderful solo albums of her own, and also plays with an up-and-coming trio called the Bootleg Honeys. Alison and Yvette teamed up to add a gospel chorus to “Sacred Ground.”
Capturing all of this music, Matt Wright was our dependable engineer.
He worked tirelessly and creatively to help us get good takes despite the limitations of working in a non-traditional studio. This is the third album Dan has made with Matt at the controls.
Robby Elfman, a clarinet player from Petaluma, wowed us with his exuberant nature and soloing on “Sacred Ground.” Though a version with Charlie Musselwhite’s harmonica is featured on the album, we are excited to share Robby’s wonderful clarinet version soon.
On a big day at Felta School, one of Dan’s musical heroes, mandolin player David Grisman, stopped in to lay down tracks on three of our songs. He brought a beautiful 1925 Gibson F-style instrument and played his signature solo lines, fills and chord comps. Around that time, Dan had been listening to a version of Blue Yodel #9 that David and Jerry Garcia recorded for a Jimmy Rodgers tribute album. Apparently it was Jerry’s last recording session. Meeting and playing with David Grisman was truly one of the highlights of a musically inspiring summer.